10 Best Budget Travel Insurance in 2024

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best budget travel insurance

Are you planning an exciting trip but worried about the potential costs of unexpected events like flight cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage? Traveling on a budget often comes with sacrifices — fewer meals out, less expensive accommodations, or fewer extras, but one thing you don’t want to have to compromise on is travel insurance. Fortunately, budget travel insurance offers excellent options. 

Travel insurance can provide peace of mind, and you shouldn’t have to pay a fortune for it. Below, we’ll explore the best budget travel insurance options to help you travel with confidence without breaking the bank. 

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10 best budget travel insurance

Below, you’ll find some of the best budget travel insurance options in 2024. It’s a good idea to compare personalized quotes and review any travel insurance policy for details of individual coverage. The costs and coverage limits mentioned below are averages that can vary based on your home state, travel dates, destinations, and individual circumstances.

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1. Best for base protection: Added protections with MoneyLion’s WOW membership

Although not a travel insurance product, the MoneyLion WOW membership includes insurance benefits for travel protections, including trip delay and cancellation protection, checked or carry-on baggage protection, and car rental insurance.2. The membership is  only $9.99 per month. Plus, you get access to other financial benefits like cashback on select loan offers1. Members can also get access to earn up to $500 on every qualifying purchase of $10 or more3, and you can get 1% Bitcoin back4 when you round up your purchases5 to buy Bitcoin.

Affordable monthly feeLimited coverage compared to dedicated travel
insurance policies
Includes various travel-related protectionsNo medical or evacuation coverage
Access to additional financial benefits

2. Best for adventure travel: World Nomads

Basic plan: Standard Plan

Average cost per person: Varies by destination, average of $93 for a one-week trip

Medical and evacuation limits per person: $100,000 medical, $500,000 evacuation

World Nomads has been around since 2002 and is a popular budget-friendly choice for adventure travelers, offering coverage for a wide range of activities, including extreme sports, at an affordable price point.

Policy inclusions are broad, and notable for adventure travelers, its standard policy automatically covers over 200 adventure sports including skydiving, scuba diving, ATV riding, zip lining, snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, and more. 

With the World Nomads standard plan, you can get:

  • Up to $2,500 for trip cancellation or interruption protection 
  • Up to $1,000 in lost, stolen or damaged baggage coverage
  • Up to $750 for baggage delays
  • Up to $100,000 in emergency medical insurance
  • $750 dental limit
  • Up to $300,000 for emergency medical evacuation
  • 24-hour travel assistance services
Covers a variety of adventure activitiesLimited coverage for trip cancellations
and interruptions
Affordable rates for longer tripsLower medical and evacuation limits compared
to some competitors
Easy online claims process

3. Best for cruises: Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

Basic plan: ExactCare Value Plan

Average cost per person: $80 for a $5,000 cruise

Medical and evacuation limits per person: $25,000 medical, $100,000 evacuation

While Berkshire Hathaway is not known for its budget offerings, in the case of cruise travelers, it has one of the best options available. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection is a popular choice for cruise travelers because of the specialized coverage for cruise-related incidents, such as missed connections, cabin confinement, and more.

With Berkshire Hathaway’s ExactCare Value plan, you get:

  • Pre-existing condition coverage if you purchase insurance within 15 days of your initial trip deposit
  • Comprehensive coverage for trip cancellation or interruption
  • Up to $15,000 in emergency travel medical insurance
  • Optional car-rental collision coverage
  • Quick travel insurance claim payments
  • Worldwide travel assistance
Affordable rates for cruise travelersLower medical and evacuation limits compared
to some competitors
Cruise-specific coverages includedLimited coverage for non-cruise travel
Optional Cancel for Any Reason coverage

4. Best for seniors: AIG Travel Guard

Basic plan: Essential Plan

Average cost per person: $120 for a $5,000 trip for age 65+

Medical and evacuation limits per person: $25,000 medical, $500,000 evacuation

There’s no reason your age should keep you from exploring the world! If you want to make sure you have the best coverage as a senior, consider Travel Guard. Travel Guard is a trusted provider offering specialized plans for seniors, including higher medical coverage limits and additional benefits like coverage for pre-existing conditions.

AIG Travel Guard’s Essential plan includes: 

  • 100% coverage of trips for cancellation or interruption due to illness
  • $100 per day reimbursement for any trip delays up to $500 total
  • Up to $15,000 in medical expenses and $500 in dental 
  • $150,000 maximum for emergency medical evacuation
  • Up to $750 in compensation for stolen luggage
  • Up to $200 if your bags are delayed more than 24 hours
Comprehensive coverage for seniorsLower medical coverage limits for younger
Pre-existing condition coverage availableSome exclusions for adventure activities
24/7 travel assistance services

5. Best for non-medical evacuation: Travel Insured 

Basic plan: Worldwide Trip Protector

Average cost per person: Varies by trip

Medical and evacuation limits per person: $100,000 medical and $1 million evacuation

The Travel Insured Worldwide Trip Protector policy provides robust benefits at a fair price. More importantly, it is one of the best options available if you need non-medical evacuation coverage. 

With Travel Insured International you can get:

  • 100% of the insured trip cost
  • 150% of the insured trip cost
  • $250 frequent traveler reward
  • Up to $1,500 for travel delays
  • Change fee coverage up to $250
  • $500 itinerary change coverage
Non-medical evacuation benefits of $150,000Medical coverage of $100,000 is lower than competitors
Travel delay and baggage delay benefits
after a three hour’s delay
Missed connection benefits of only $500 
Cancel for any reason, interruption for any reason,
and travel inconvenience upgrade options

6. Best for group travel: Travelex

Basic plan: Travel Basic

Average cost per person: $60 for a $5,000 trip

Medical and evacuation limits per person: $25,000 medical, $150,000 evacuation

Travelex offers a budget-friendly annual multi-trip plan called Travel Select, which covers an unlimited number of trips throughout the year, making it a cost-effective option for frequent travelers. Travelex also offers a group travel insurance option, making it easier and more affordable to insure multiple travelers together. The Travel Basic plan provides essential coverage at a lower cost per person. 

With Travelex Basic, you get:

  • Up to $15,000 in emergency medical expenses
  • Primary coverage with no deductibles
  • Up to $10,000 for trip cancellation and interruption
  • 24/7 travel assistance & concierge services
Group discounts for multiple travelersLower medical and evacuation limits
compared to more comprehensive plans
High evacuation coverage limitsLimited coverage for trip delays and
missed connections
Covers an unlimited number of trips
per year

7. Best for diverse itineraries: Nationwide

Basic plan: Annual Travel Insurance Plan

Average cost per person: As low as $59 annually

Medical and evacuation limits per person: $10,000 medical, $50,000 evacuation

Nationwide’s Annual Travel Insurance Plan is a budget-friendly option for frequent travelers, providing coverage for an unlimited number of trips throughout the year, including trip cancellations, interruptions, medical emergencies, and more.

You can also consider Nationwide’s Cruise Choice plan, which is affordable and includes non-medical evacuation coverage and the option of a trip interruption upgrade.

With Nationwide you get:

  • Trip delay coverage up to $200 per person, per trip
  • Emergency medical expenses up to $10,000 per person, per trip
  • Emergency medical evacuation of $50,000 per person, per trip
  • Baggage or personal belonging coverage of $500 per person, per trip
  • Travel assistance included
Covers an unlimited number of trips per yearMedical coverage limits are lower than many competitors
Affordable for frequent travelersSome exclusions for high-risk activities
High evacuation coverage limits

8. Best for last-minute travel: InsureMyTrip

Basic plan: TripInsure Standard Plan

Average cost per person: $70 for a $5,000 trip

Medical and evacuation limits per person: $50,000 medical, $250,000 evacuation

InsureMyTrip offers affordable last-minute travel insurance options, making it a convenient choice for those who need to purchase coverage close to their travel dates.

Competitive rates for last-minute travelLower medical and evacuation limits compared
to some competitors
24/7 travel assistance servicesLimited coverage for adventure activities
Optional upgrades for higher limits

9. Best for add-ons: WorldTrips

Basic plan: Atlas Journey Economy

Average cost per person: Varies by residence and destination, average $198 for a $5,000, two-person trip

Medical and evacuation limits per person: $10,000 for medical, $250,000 for evacuation

The Atlas Journey Economy plan is a cost-effective solution that offers simple and cost effective upgrade options. You can get trip cancellation with extra coverage for pets, adventure sports, destination weddings, hunting and fishing equipment, and more. If the plan is purchased within 21 days of the initial trip payment date, pre-existing conditions are covered even with the economy plan.

With the Atlas Journey Economy Plan, you’ll get:

  • Trip cancellation coverage up to 100% of trip cost, up to $10,000
  • 100% of the trip cost for trip interruption
  • Up to $100 per day for travel delays
  • Travel assistance services
Excellent medical evacuation benefits.Lower medical coverage
Good trip interruption, delay, and cancellation coveragePre-existing conditions are only covered if you pay within
21 days of the initial trip payment
Cancel for any reason upgrade with the Premier policy

10. Best for customizable coverage: Tin Leg

Basic plan: Tin Leg Economy

Average cost per person: $80 for a $5,000 trip

Medical and evacuation limits per person: $20,000 medical, $100,000 evacuation

Tin Leg is a budget-friendly travel insurance provider underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company that offers highly customizable plans, allowing travelers to select the coverage they need and adjust coverage limits to fit their budget. It’s loved by travelers for international and domestic trips. Tin Leg can help you get coverage for cancellations, medical emergencies, and baggage loss or delays.

Flexible and customizable coverage
Limited customer service hours
High medical and evacuation limits
available for the cost
Exclusions for high-risk activities
Easy online quote and purchase

How much does travel insurance cost? 

The cost of travel insurance can vary significantly depending on factors such as your home state and age, the number of travelers, the plan type, additional coverages, destination, trip cost, and trip length. As an average starting point, you can expect to pay between 4% and 8% of your total trip cost for a basic travel insurance policy.

For example, if your trip costs $3,000 for two travelers, a basic policy could cost around $120 to $240. However, if you’re traveling to a remote or high-risk destination, or if you require additional coverage like cancel for any reason or adventure sports coverage, the cost can increase significantly. That’s why it’s worth considering the budget travel insurance options. You can get strong coverage or adventure sports add-ons included for less. 

How to find the best budget travel insurance

Finding the best budget travel insurance starts with research and comparison. Here’s what you may want to consider. 

1. Compare prices from different providers

Comparing prices is the first step. Examine costs and available coverage based on your destination and planned activities. Travel insurance companies, agents, reservation sites, and comparison sites offer various plans and pricing options. Comparing quotes from multiple providers can help you find the most affordable option that meets your needs.

  • Travel insurance companies: These companies sell travel insurance policies directly. 
  • Travel agents and travel reservation sites: Agents and sites allow you to compare and book travel insurance or act as third-party intermediaries with travel insurance companies. 
  • Travel insurance comparison sites: These sites allow you to compare insurance policies and filter based on your specific needs or requirements. 
  • Credit cards: Some premium credit cards offer travel insurance or trip coverage directly. Double-check with your credit card issuer to see if you have coverage with your card issuer. Find different types of credit cards and how to manage credit cards

MoneyLion can help you explore a wide variety of credit card options tailored to your travel needs and preferences.

2. Assess the value versus the cost

While budget is a crucial consideration, it’s essential to strike a balance between cost and coverage. Ensure that the policy you choose provides adequate protection for your specific travel needs. A low medical insurance coverage or evacuation option might not cover your needs in high-cost or remote locations, so the nominal price difference may make sense. 

3. Look for discounts or promotional offers

Some providers offer discounts or promotional offers, such as group discounts, loyalty program benefits, or credit card rewards. Explore these options to potentially save on travel insurance costs.

4. Opt for basic coverage and exclude add-ons

If you’re on a tight budget, consider opting for a basic plan and excluding additional coverages or added features that you may not need. This can help reduce the overall cost of your policy. A basic plan usually still covers trip delays, medical cancellations, and both medical and emergency evacuation. A basic insurance plan is preferable to having no plan at all.

5. Purchase annual insurance for multiple trips

If you’re a frequent traveler, purchasing an annual travel insurance plan can be more cost-effective than buying separate policies for each trip. These plans often provide comprehensive coverage for the entire year at a discounted rate. For example, you could get annual plans for as little as $59 to $200 a year, although these usually have lower coverage limits than one-time plans. 

What does travel insurance typically cover?

1. Trip delay, interruption, and cancellation

Travel insurance can reimburse you for non-refundable expenses if your trip is delayed, interrupted, or canceled due to covered reasons, such as severe weather, illness, or injuries. This is a baseline coverage you’ll want if you’re investing in travel insurance. 

2. Emergency medical expense; medical evacuation

If you require medical attention while traveling, your travel insurance policy can cover the costs of emergency medical treatment and hospitalization. Costs vary widely on coverage, so choose a plan appropriate to average medical costs at your destination, factoring in any primary medical coverage you have

3. Baggage delay and loss

In the event that your luggage is delayed or lost by the airline, travel insurance can provide reimbursement for essential items you may need to purchase, as well as coverage for lost or stolen baggage. While airlines may also provide this, it often doesn’t cover the full value or it can be difficult to get the reimbursement. 

4. Interrupt-for-any-reason (IFAR) 

Some policies offer interrupt-for-any-reason (IFAR) coverage, which allows you to cancel or interrupt your trip for any reason, regardless of the cause. This coverage typically reimburses a portion of your non-refundable trip costs but is usually only available in premium or high-cost plans. 

5. Cancel-for-any-reason (CFAR) 

Similar to IFAR, cancel-for-any-reason (CFAR) coverage allows you to cancel your trip for any reason and receive partial reimbursement for non-refundable expenses. This coverage is often an add-on and can increase the policy cost substantially or is only available in high-end insurance options. 

6. 24-hour assistance

24-hour assistance has become the industry standard. Many travel insurance policies provide 24-hour assistance services, which can help you with emergency medical referrals, lost passport assistance, and other travel-related issues while you’re on your trip. 

7. Accidental death and dismemberment insurance

Some travel insurance policies include accidental death and dismemberment coverage, which provides a lump-sum payment in the event of accidental death or permanent disability during your trip, often up to $1 million or more. 

What is not usually covered by travel insurance?

While travel insurance can provide valuable protection, it’s important to understand the limitations and exclusions. Generally, travel insurance does not cover:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions (unless explicitly covered by your policy)
  • Cancellations or interruptions due to factors within your control (changing your mind, fear of travel)
  • Risky or illegal activities (extreme sports, engaging in illegal activities)
  • Natural disasters or civil unrest in your destination (unless explicitly covered)

Peace of mind on any budget

Traveling can be an exciting adventure, but it also comes with risks and potential financial losses. Budget travel insurance offers an affordable solution to protect yourself against unexpected events, ensuring that you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind without breaking the bank. By comparing options, assessing value, and leveraging discounts, you can find a policy that meets your needs while fitting your budget. While preparing for your trip, you can also find the best high-yield savings accounts to maximize your savings. 


When should I buy travel insurance?

It’s generally recommended to purchase travel insurance shortly after booking your trip, as many policies have strict timeframes for coverage to take effect. For example, if you have a pre-existing condition, you’ll need to purchase travel insurance within 21 days of paying for the trip to get coverage with many policies. 

Is it better to get a single trip or annual travel insurance?

If you’re planning multiple trips within a year, an annual travel insurance plan may be more cost-effective than purchasing separate policies for each trip. However, these plans may have lower coverage limits per trip, so weigh your destination and the risk, or opt for a higher coverage plan. 

Does travel insurance get more expensive closer to the trip?

No, travel insurance premiums are typically calculated based on factors like your age, destination, home location, and trip cost, not the proximity to your travel dates. However, it’s always important to compare trip insurance costs to find the best option for your needs. 

Does travel insurance cover 100%?

Many travel insurance policies cover 100% of trip costs in case of certain delays or cancellations but don’t always cover 100% of medical or evacuation expenses. Travel insurance policies usually have coverage limits, deductibles, and exclusions. It’s essential to review the policy details to understand what is and isn’t covered.

Should you buy travel insurance separately?

It’s generally recommended to purchase travel insurance separately from your travel provider, as stand-alone policies often offer more comprehensive coverage and flexibility.

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